A SCHOOL was evacuated after a fire in an outside storage area near the sports hall.

Firefighters were called to the Clere Secondary School, in Burghclere, on Wednesday (7) at 1.50pm.

The blaze had spread to the roof, where there were solar panels, and caused 20 per cent to be damaged by fire. The hall was 10 per cent damaged by the heat.

Station manager Dave Graham, who was in charge of the incident, said: "The school was brilliant at evacuating the children in good time and crews worked hard under challenging conditions, hindered by the solar panels, to keep the fire from entering the sports hall and stop what could have been 100 per cent damage to the property.

"Basingstoke City Council acted quickly to send a structural engineer to the scene, enabling us to carry out an aggressive attack on the fire."

The fire was stopped at 5.19pm and the school opened as normal the following day.

Amanda Keable, community assistant at the school, said: "I initially thought it was bonfire smoke coming across the school field, but when entering the evacuation point it became clear it was a developed fire.

“The children were fantastic in evacuating the building and crew have been brilliant in keeping us updated and working hard in hot conditions.

“The senior leadership team of the school did a brilliant job in keeping the children calm and safe.

“You can practise a number of drills but when you're faced with a real fire, children can act differently so it was great that everything came together."

Crew in attendance included Overton, Basingstoke, Eastleigh and two appliances from Berkshire.